Tom’s 5th Birthday Questionnaire.


What is your name?: Thomas

How old are you?: 5

What is your favorite thing to do?: My favorite thing to do is play with my (Power Rangers) combiner toys.

What do you want to be when you grow up?: A dad.

What is your favorite food?: My favorite food is mac and cheese, and pizza rolls, and pizza and that’s all that I like.

Who do you like to spend time with?: Michael

What do you do really well?: I’m good at pretending.

What makes you laugh?: What makes me laugh is like some silly joke or something.

What is the best time of day?: Christmas!

What are you afraid of?: Aliens.

Who is your best friend?: Michael, and Aanand, and Alice.

What do you like to do with your family?: Play with them all the time.

What do you love to learn about?: Dinosaurs.

Where do you like to go?: The beach.

What is your favorite book?: My new dinosaur book and The Book With No Pictures.

What is your favorite television show?: Power Rangers

If you had one wish, what would it be?: I would wish to be with dinosaurs.


Quote of the Day: “I’m 5 today! I look different. Look how big my head is!” –Tom

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Tom Is FIVE.

Dear Tom,

I asked you to please stop growing.

You refused.

And now look.  You’re actually FIVE.  Five years old!!

I cannot even stand it!

You are the one in my belly who kicked me during every 2 p.m. news meeting.

You are the one who cried seemingly non-stop for the first two months of life.

You are the one who amazed me with such astounding tricks such as rolling over, spitting, clapping, and grabbing things with your hands.

You are the one who had butterball feet.

You are the one who started running at around 15 months — skipping “walking” altogether.

You are the one with the most contagious laugh.

You are the one Huck fears.

You are the one who loves every toy ever made — especially trains, cars, trucks, planes, dinosaurs and Power Rangers.

You are the one who loved your little sister fiercely and immediately and constantly.

You are the one who will share.

You are the one who loves baths, but not soap.

You are the one who caused people to say to me, “He sure is active, isn’t he?”

You are the one who has a great imagination.

You are the one who knows more facts about dinosaurs and fish than anyone I know.

You are the one who loves to run.

You are the one who puts great thought into anything deemed adventurous.

You are the one who loves water.

You are the one who makes friends easily.

You are the one obsessed with YouTube videos about toys.

You are the one who will eat an entire “party pizza” in one sitting, and will then still ask for a PB&J sandwich.

You are the one who still refuses to eat chocolate or fruit.

You are the one who loves books.

You are the one who likes to listen to ROCK MUSIC before school.

You are the one who makes me laugh and smile every day.

You are the one who constantly tells me how much you love me.

You are the one who makes us all so very happy, every single day.

You are the one who has been waiting for this birthday for a very long time.

And now it’s here.

You are the one who has our hearts.


Happy 5th Birthday, Tom.

We love you more than words could ever express.


Tom 2


Posted in Motherhood, Tom | 3 Comments

Tom’s Most Hilarious 4-Year-Old Quotes.

Since Tom is turning FIVE tomorrow, I thought today would be a good time to revisit his most hilarious 4-year-old quotes.

And keep in mind, these are only the ones that I could immediately write down!

I think he’s pretty hilarious most all the time.

Here are my favorite FIVE Tom quotes from this past year!

1. February 10, 2014:
“This game is horrible! There’s no HOT LAVA!”

2. April 9:
Tom: “Uh-oh, someone forgot their flamingo.”
Me: “You mean umbrella?”
Tom: “Yeah.”

3. May 20:
Tom: “What are we doing today?”
Me: “We’re going to the zoo!”
Tom: “Ugh. I want to go to Target.”

4. June 1:
Tom: “Who’s this guy?”
Me: “Abe Lincoln. He was a president a long time ago.”
Tom: “What kind of party did he have for his birthday?”

5. August 16:
Me: “You’re going to start school next week. Are you excited?”
Tom: “Yeah. Do I have to sit in a chair?”
Me: “Yes.”
Tom: “Ugh! Not excited.”

And because I just can’t get over the hilariousness — here are FIVE more!

6. August 21:
“I wanna listen to rock music. I WANNA ROCK. Trust me. I won’t hurt myself.”

7. September 14:
Tom (randomly): “Everybody thinks you’re weird, Mom.”

8. September 15:
Tom: “I wish Alice would wake up.”
Me: “Why?”
Tom: “Because I love her so much.”

9. September 30:
“Guess what? Jesus is really a boy. I thought he was a girl earlier.”

10. November 24:
“Mom? Can you call me ‘Secret Agent Fowler dot com’ instead of Tom from now on?”


It was so hard to pick just 10!

Man, I love my sweet Secret Agent Fowler dot-com.

Posted in Tom | 5 Comments

Tom’s Bedroom.

A friend of mine posted an article on FB a couple weeks ago that was written by someone who had children starting college.

And in the article, she said she wished she’d taken pictures of her children’s bedrooms every year.

That pictures of their bedrooms, was a memory she wanted saved.

She said something about how you think you’ll remember it, along with everything else, but you won’t.

And I absolutely thought that was a great insight.

I’ve always loved the idea of documenting the daily happenings, instead of just special occasions.

So!  Without cleaning up or changing anything, this morning I snapped a couple pictures of Tom’s room.

This is what his room looks like — just a few days before turning FIVE!


What I see…

His room never has a made-up bed, because that’s not a chore I’ve given him yet and I never do it.  Ha!  (I never make mine either.  Super slack!)

He loves playing with those big, plastic things — they’re like a building-type toy.  He constantly makes them into swords.

He loves his actual play swords, too!  I see one on the floor.

And one of Alice’s baby dolls.  She brought that in there and left it, probably.

His Star Wars spaceship is on the floor — he mainly likes to fly that around.

And a car picture he glued together one afternoon is taped up beside his bed.  He loves it!

Tons of books beside his bed!  He picks out three books for me to read every night.  He loves, loves, loves books.  His favorites right now are “The Book With No Pictures” and the “Spooky Old Tree.”

And the big elephant he’s had since he was a 1-year-old is in his bed, along with 4 pillows.  He LOVES pillows, and steals them whenever he finds one.

His sheets are covered with trucks, cars, planes and trains —  he picked it out!

And on the far left, I see some of his wooden train tracks.  He still loves those!

The one thing that is missing that is usually there is Hot Wheels tracks!  It’s missing on this day, because his Daddy asked him to clean them up a couple days ago.  His room was covered in tracks earlier this week, and probably will be again soon.


Right now, his whole room is covered in dinosaurs.

Every night this week, he’s taken all his dinosaurs and set them up all around his room before bed.

The next morning, he’ll take them out and decorate the living room with them.

He’s obsessed with them right now, and it’s the cutest.

The number 7 is taped to his clock as a reminder to not get up until he sees it on his clock.

For this reason, the number 7 is the number he is able to easily identify.

Even with the 7, he still gets up around 6:45ish — which is way better than the 6 a.m. I was dealing with before.  The only difference is that now he KNOWS it’s not 7.  Ha!


If you go into Tom’s room these days and he’s there, he’s usually playing cars, dinosaurs, trains or planes.

This is him flying a jet, making jet noises.

He’s just a cute little boy, in his cute little room.

Can’t wait to see what he adds to the chaos next year!

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Tom will be FIVE on Thursday.

It feels monumental.  And crazy.

And all of a sudden, FIVE YEARS OLD sounds…OLD.

Like…I keep looking at him.  Looking older.  Looking almost-five.

(I’m weird.)

((Pretty sure you knew that.))

Anyway…every day leading up to his big day, I’m going to post stuff about Tom.


And today, is my favorite FIVE Instagrams (all tagged #loveandtom) from this past year of Tom being a wee lad of four.


1. Tom taking his Dad to see a dead mouse.  We’d been on a walk this day and seen it on the side of the road.  Tom thought it was REALLY COOL, obviously, and he couldn’t wait for his Dad to get home to show him.  And Dad couldn’t wait to see it.


2. Mud bowl.  Tom was playing in this muddy hole in our yard for 30 minutes, before deciding to strip down.  I remember I had to tell him to please keep his unders on.  He’s the one who asked for the bowl.  I’m the one who said, “Sure!”

Because sometimes simply splashing in a mud puddle isn't enough. #loveandtom #mudbowl

A photo posted by Kate Gelsthorpe (@loveandkate) on


3. Pumpkins. This picture was taken the first weekend in September.  We’d been to visit a state park, and across the street is the famous Burt’s Pumpkin Farm.  We were the only people there, and it was great.  Tom was the happiest boy in the world.  He loves Halloween.  And he really, really loves pumpkins.  He picked one out for every member of our family, and came up with all sorts of plans for them.  We painted a bunch of little ones the very next day — just like he planned.

He has been talking about pumpkins since Easter. Happy, happy day! #loveandtom #loveandfall

A photo posted by Kate Gelsthorpe (@loveandkate) on


4. Leaves.  I’d raked a pile of leaves on the driveway, and Tom thought it was great.  Tom and Alice both took turns running through it, but Tom really got into throwing them.  He LOVED it.  He was laughing so hard, he got the hiccups.  He got really excited when he realized you could throw them at people’s heads.  And put leaves down Mommy’s shirt.  It was a great day.

Pile of leaves down my shirt courtesy of this stinker! #loveandtom #loveandfall

A photo posted by Kate Gelsthorpe (@loveandkate) on


5. Crashed Spaceship. The kids were playing outside in the front yard, and after awhile, I noticed Tom on the ground near a bush toward the end of our driveway.  I called out to him, “Hey Tom, are you okay?”  No response.  “Tom?”  Nothing.  So I walked over there, and could tell he was smiling.  “Tom, what are you doing down here?”  He didn’t say anything at first, but then he finally said, “I’m a spaceship that crashed.”  I guess he didn’t want to break character by saying he was okay.  And I totally get that.

"I'm a spaceship that crashed." #loveandtom

A photo posted by Kate Gelsthorpe (@loveandkate) on


Posted in Motherhood, Tom | 4 Comments

The Stress Of The Kindergarten We Are Not Yet Attending.

kates phone 1-11-15 210

Tom will be in kindergarten next year.

The stress I’ve been feeling since January has begun is like…ridiculous.

I know it is.

But I can’t help it!

Because I have several problems with this fact.  Problems like…

1. I do not want Tom to be in kindergarten. I want him to be in little baby preschool forever and ever.  I want him to do crafts and pajama days and class parties and have fun and run around and be a itty bitty little forever and ever.  I want him to learn, of course I do, but for some reason I’m scared that school will be like…THE END OF FUN.

2. I’m a control freak.  Yes, Tom’s in school 5 days a week now.  Know how many days I am there?  All the time!  There are parties for every major (and minor) holiday.  There are school-wide events like Art in the Park and Field Day.  I am the room mom and the co-chair of the parent council for the whole school. I’M AT EVERYTHING.  I KNOW EVERYONE.  I’m scared that once he’s in actual kindergarten, I won’t be in charge. Because I’ll be new.  And, you know, NOT THE TEACHER.

3.  I’m reading a terrible book.  I accidentally started reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty the other day.  I had no idea what it was about, but I’d read The Husband’s Secret and liked it.  Know what Big Little Lies is about?  CRAZY KINDERGARTEN PARENTS.  Who act terrible and one of them is about to be murdered at a school event.  For real.  And now I am at panic level 998.

4.  I am anxious to know how Tom will be.  Will he sit in his desk?  Will he listen to his teacher?  Will he learn everything he needs to learn?  Or will he be running around, not listening and not learning?  What type of kindergartner will he be?!  I think Tom is awesome and smart.  Will his teacher think that?  PLEASE THINK THAT, FUTURE TEACHER!

5. I don’t know where we’ll be.  We may be moving to the other side of the city to be closer to family.  We’ve been slowly getting our house ready for listing. (We still have more to do, by the way.)  And us moving is dependent on a number of things, that I just don’t have any control over.  But what this means is — I can’t research every school in the area like the crazy mom I am.  I can sort of do it here, but I don’t really think we’ll be here.  And I can’t really research where we may move, because there are many choices on where we may move.  I’m surrounded by moms who are going to every open house there is, and I’m just kind of sitting here…BEING ANXIOUS.

Y’all are laughing at me, right?  Like…surely this is not a serious thing to worry over.

I’m worrying over kindergarten!

Sometimes, I realize I’m getting way too caught up in thinking about it.  And I really do laugh at myself.

And then other times I start thinking that picking the right kindergarten is the most important decision ever!

I want Tom to love school.  And have friends.  And have awesomely understanding teachers who love him.  And I just want all of that RIGHT NOW so I can quit stressing about it.

And by RIGHT NOW, I mean never, because as mentioned previously, I actually want him to be little forever.

Please?!  No?  Okay, FINE.

Hypothetically, how long would it take someone to be certified as a kindergarten teacher?!

(Asking for a friend.)


Posted in Motherhood, Tom | 11 Comments

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…


So the thing about our tree this year was that — it was the worst.

I have always wanted to go to a real Christmas tree farm with my family and take pictures and be cute — but every busy Christmas season, it always seems a whole lot easier to take our kids to the tent in the parking lot of Home Depot up the street — so that’s what we do.

Hey! It’s tradition for my kids now!

They love it.

“When are we going to Home Depot to pick out our tree?!” they begin asking around mid-July.

So the weekend after Thanksgiving, we took the kids to the Home Depot tent and picked the first tree we looked at.

(Mistake #1.)

Kevin assured me that we needed a tall tree.

I was sure that our ceilings were not that tall, but seeing as everything seems pretty tall to me, I took his word for it.

(Mistake #2.)

So then we got it home, and I immediately realized this tree…

Had a huge gaping hole in the side of it!

How did I not see that?!

Was it because I was watching my two children in the tent, making sure they didn’t leave the tent and pop right out into traffic?

Of course it was!!

I would NEVER pick a big hole-filled tree!

And when I say big…I mean BIG.

It was really fluffy.  Really wide.  Really tall.

Guess what our living room is not?

Any of those things!

(Especially fluffy.)

It scraped a line of tree-ish-ness guts across our ceiling before Kevin said, “I think I’ll have to cut the top off a bit.”

And then it hardly fit in our tree stand!

Whatever, I already hated it!

So as I’m trying to be Christmas-y and cheerful and fun, I’m secretly thinking there is a huge, ugly thing in my living room and it’s kind of…RUINING EVERYTHING…but you know, I’m hiding those feelings.

(Sort of.)

We got the ornaments out and let the kids decorate it.

And every ornament they put on, hit the floor.

Because not only was this tree FLUFFY, BIG, TALL AND HOLE-Y — it had limp branches.

Limp. Branches.

What the Christmas tree?!

You have one job!

The very first ornament Tom tried to put on there — was his one glass ornament.

The ornament he picked out for himself the previous year — and it hit the floor and shattered.


The kid was destroyed.  I had to tell him it was fine and we’d find another just like it and replace it, so not to worry!

(We didn’t.  We forgot.  Ha!)

Anyway, putting the ornaments on this thing was a huge hassle.

The kids had a good time, though!


So that night we all looked at this big, humongous, thing in our living room and talked about how awesome it was, because I’m all about being a total liar.

I’d bad-mouthed that tree all day, and couldn’t wait to get away from it!

We put the kids to bed, and then Kevin and I headed downstairs.

And 30 minutes later, we heard a scary, loud crash that could only be one thing…


Are you serious with this, tree?!

We just DIED.

I mean, laughing hysterically dying.

I had been so mean about that tree all day, and totally deserved for it to tip over, and spill water and ornaments and lights everywhere.

No, really. I totally did.

And it was funny.

I mean, the Christmas season wore on, and I never really liked it.

In fact, it never even drank any of its water, so it dropped this crazy amount of needles and by Christmas looked pretty dead — but still!

It was our Christmas tree. And the kids thought it was great.

And on December 27th, I took it down while Kevin was still sleeping, and after he’d been awake for approximately 7 minutes, I made him take it out back and burn it.

And although it wasn’t very good at anything else — it was spectacular at burning up.

And I love a good smelling fire.

Posted in Baby Girl, Family, Holidays, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom | 3 Comments